Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond Floor Standing Speaker

Expert Review

The 800 Series Diamond is B&Ws flagship speaker, and well-known in the music industry as the premier reference speaker for music production and mastering. It is an equally capable home theater speaker, capable of immersing listeners in a wide sonic landscape and delivering sonic cues with a dynamism unmatched by any traditional floor speaker. B&W is famous for giving their speakers a slight lift in treble to accentuate details, and the 800D is no exception, but its tonality is very neutral on the whole, and in this case the slight emphasis does not color any other aspect of the 800D's presentation. Bass response is taut and impactful, but doesn't have quite enough body to suffice for home theater applications on their own; a subwoofer, preferably B&W'd own DB1, rounds out the sound nicely. The midrange of the 800D is fast, detailed, and articulate, never struggling to portray complex passages and always separating instruments with sufficient space to hear every detail.

The 800Ds are optimized for studio use, but are capable of producing sufficient SPL for nearly any size of home theater, provided the inclusion of appropriate supporting surrounds and a center channel. They are very dynamic as such, but aren't as efficient as speakers like the JTR Noesis or Seaton Sound Catalyst, so if you're looking to really rock out or blow your eardrums with explosions, the 800D probably isn't for you. But if you're after ultimate refinement and analytical realism, its hard to do better than the best from B&W.Rating: 4/5

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